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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-09-17

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] AIR ACCIDENT VICTIMS BURIED
  • [02] EARTHQUAKE UPDATE
  • [03] GREEK-TURKISH TALKS WIND UP
  • [04] UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY DISCUSSED
  • [05] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT TO ELECT SPECIAL MEDIATOR
  • [06] CYPRIOT PRESIDENT FLIES TO NEW YORK

  • [01] AIR ACCIDENT VICTIMS BURIED

    The funerals of the alternate foreign minister Iannos Kranidiotis, and his son Nikolas, who died in Tuesday night's air accident over Bucharest, took place this afternoon. The service was conducted in the Church of Aghios Dionysios in Kolonaki, and they were buried in the Athens First Cemetery. The two Greek Radio & Television reporters, the minister's personal bodyguard and the aircraft's flight engineer who also died in the accident were buried yesterday. Two other passengers, an ERT cameraman and the director of Mr Kranidiotis' diplomatic office, are still in critical condition in hospital.

    The transport minister, Tasos Mandelis, yesterday released the complete file of flight formation from the Falcon aircraft showing there had been no problem regarding the maintenance of the plane, at least during the last year. The government spokesman, Dimitris Reppas, said an American aviation expert was taking part in the commission set up to investigate the cause of the accident. He clarified that no political person was linked to any maintenance procedures and that the transport minister would remain a cabinet member.

    The New Democracy party's press spokesman, Aris Spiliotopoulos, accused the government of political irresponsibility and called for the transport minister's resignation. According to all indications, failure of the automatic pilot's stability system was responsible for the executive aircraft's fatal plunge. However, both the president of Olympic Airways engineers and the company which built the plane have given assurances that an earlier failure in the automatic pilot system had been repaired.

    [02] EARTHQUAKE UPDATE

    As thousands of people hit by last week's earthquake in Athens try to reorganise their lives, living in constant fear of a new earth tremor, the Seismic Assessment Committee met yesterday to evaluate data warning of an imminent tremor, supplied by the earthquake prediction centre in Lamia, known as VAN. The committee agreed that data supplied by the VAN team was insufficient and could not be scientifically assessed. The Committee said the country was living in a period of seismic activity and called for readiness as regards the inspection of buildings and the correct briefing of citizens.

    A member of the VAN team, Professor Konstantinos Eftaxios, walked out of the meeting after his request for the session to be recorded on tape was rejected. He claimed that what seismologists had to say at such meetings differed from what they admitted publicly. The prime minister, Kostas Simitis, had a meeting with the interior minister, Vaso Papandreou, yesterday to reassess the needs of the quake-stricken areas in Attica. Meanwhile the head of the appeals court has ordered an investigation into reports that the 200,000 drachma subsidy for quake-stricken families in Menidi was being handed out selectively.

    A tremor measuring 4 on the Richter scale, with its epicentre in the Attica region, was registered shortly after 2 o'clock this morning. The Athens Observatory said the tremor was a normal after-shock from last week's main quake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale. Between 80% and 85% of schools in Attica are expected to be operating normally from next Monday, although schools in areas hit by the recent earthquake will not open until the following week. Private schools in Attica are also required to have a certificate from a state engineer proving the safety of their buildings before reopening.

    [03] GREEK-TURKISH TALKS WIND UP

    The second round of Greek-Turkish talks at the level of foreign ministry officials ended in Athens yesterday. During the four-hour meeting, the two delegations exchanged views on issues linked to smuggling, the fight against organised crime and terrorism. Meetings will resume in the second half of October.

    [04] UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY DISCUSSED

    The prime minister, Kostas Simitis, and the foreign minister, Giorgos Papandreou, had a working session yesterday to discuss issues related to the UN General Assembly which takes place in New York next week.

    [05] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT TO ELECT SPECIAL MEDIATOR

    The European Popular Party's parliamentary group decided unanimously yesterday to support the candidacy of former New Democracy Euro-deputy Giorgos Anastasopoulos for the position of European mediator, to be elected by the plenum of the European Parliament in October.

    [06] CYPRIOT PRESIDENT FLIES TO NEW YORK

    The Cypriot president, Glafkos Kliridis, yesterday left London for New York where he will address the UN General Assembly next Thursday. Tomorrow President Kliridis will attend the enthronement of the new Archbishop of America, Dimitrios, in Manhattan.
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